The Year 2008 in Photographs

The year 2008 was an extraordinary year by any standard. From the stock markets hitting record highsand then melting down in what was described as a once in a century event, from China showing its prowess during Bejing Olymipics, from war in Iraq and Afganistan to democracy being restored in other parts of the world, from the gyrations in oil prices to focus on global warming, ...

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The Year 2008 in Photographs

The Last Stand

Posted on 29 November 2008

The Last Stand
"Do not come up, I will handle them", these were probably the last words which Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan told his men as he was hit by bullets while engaging terrorists inside the Taj. He and fellow NSG commando Havildar Gajender Singh lost their lives as did Hemant Karkare, the celebrated head of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, while fighting the terrrorists. I feel so sad for their families and may God give them the strength to bear the loss. India has ...
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How to speed up calculation and Improve performance of Excel and VBA

Posted on 23 November 2008

How to speed up calculation and Improve performance of Excel and VBA
The key to increasing speed of calculation and improving performance of your excel worksheet and VBA code lies in understanding how Excel calculates (and re-calculates) each cell and resolves dependencies. Whenever an event occurs that causes Excel to recalculate (for example a cell is changed, a VBA code calls for re calculation or anything else), the entire calculation process is carried out roughly as follows: 1. Load workbook in memory when the workbook is first opened. 2. Track all dependencies and build ...
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Alternative to Pivot Table in Excel

Posted on 22 November 2008

Alternative to Pivot Table in Excel
In one of my previous posts (How to read data from Pivot Tables using VBA), I talked about using the getpivotdata() function in VBA to read values from a Pivot Table. In this article, we are going to look at building an alternative to pivot tables. Let's begin. Pivot tables are an immense help while working with data sets – they sum up the data into a small, neatly organized space. You can pick and choose the various values from ...
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Adding Forms Scrollbars to your Excel Charts and Spreadsheets

Posted on 11 November 2008

Adding Forms Scrollbars to your Excel Charts and Spreadsheets
One exercise that is done with almost religious fervor in all companies at the beginning of each financial year is the preparation of the budgets and targets for the next year. Every year a fresh faced newly recruited manager is identified, handled this dreaded responsibility and asked to present the first draft to the management team. And so the rookie spends a couple of nights pouring over multiple spreadsheets and a plethora of for complicated formulae and comes out with, ...
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How to Set Up Flex (Flash) Command Line Compiler for SWF files

Posted on 09 November 2008

How to Set Up Flex (Flash) Command Line Compiler for SWF files
Getting the Flex command line compilers can be a bit of a trick. I recently started working with Flex and it took me a little time to get the configuration right. The 5 step process to get the Flex compiler to work in Windows: 1. Download Flex Builder from Adobe 2. Download Java SDK from Sun 3. Install both on your computer 4. Go to the Flex Builder's SDK bin folder and ...
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My First Flex Application

Posted on 08 November 2008

My First Flex Application
I started learning Flex (Flash if you please) a few days back. (See Another step): Well here's my first app :-) (File stored at Storewith.com) Just one minor hitch though...can't get wordpress to correctly render large .swf files. Which means that I can't embed any of the examples that I'll make into my wordpress blog :-( Have tested a lot of pluggins but none of them seem to get over this problem. ...
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Simulating Multithreading in VBA using Excel

Posted on 08 November 2008

Simulating Multithreading in VBA using Excel
This article describes 3 ways of simulating multithreading in VBA using Excel. One feature that I sorely miss in the VBA's integrated development environment (IDE) is the ability to do multithreading. I think part of that comes from having worked in my previous avatar with Java and C++. In the past few days I’ve been thinking about ways in which one can ‘simulate’ multithreading in excel. (If you noticed, I said ‘simulate’ – you can’t actually multithread with vba – not atleast ...
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USA Today does some good work

Posted on 07 November 2008

USA Today does some good work
I mentioned in one of my previous articles that for data visualization to become truly interactive one may need to explore newer avenues. I was mighty impressed by this graphic behind the results that appeared in USAToday recently. Here’s why: 1. The authors (Analysis: Paul Overberg of USA TODAY and Robert Lang of Virginia Tech and Graphic: William Couch and Juan Thomassie, USA TODAY) ...
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How to Read Data from Pivot Table Using VBA in Excel

Posted on 07 November 2008

How to Read Data from Pivot Table Using VBA in Excel
Reading pivot tables using vba can be quite easy. Here are a few ways you can do it. You may also want to read my previous article on formatting pivots. (Before you dive further, you may want to download this example which will guide you through some of the steps in reading a pivot table data using vba) The Pivot Table Hierarchy Lets look at this peice of code: Sub ListAllItemObjects()...
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Clowning around with Excel

Posted on 01 November 2008

Clowning around with Excel
A sure shot way of spreading some holiday cheer around the office is to send your colleagues regular excel workbooks/reports with a bit of mischievous vba code in it :-) Here's my top 5 list: 1. Add a new menubar to excel. In my previous posts (Get each of your spreadsheets a customized menu), I talked about how to add custom menus to your excel workbook. Well......let's say that with a ...
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Another step

Posted on 25 October 2008

Another step
There are three strong contenders competing for the market  share of the RIA (Rich Internet Application) development market - JavaFX, Adobe AIR and Silverlight. All three are aimed at the same market but carry strong influences of the parent company. Take Adobe AIR for example - Adobe hit it big with Flash a few years ago and is now used in more than 92% of all websites. Adobe makes its bucks by offering ...
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The Presidential Race with the Halloween Twist

Posted on 24 October 2008

There has been ample supply of opinion polls and charts regarding the US presidential elections. I’ve been guilty of using Google Trends on this blog earlier. But over the past few days and weeks, the 24x7 in-you-face coverage of dresses, speeches, daughters/family, grand-fathers, great-great-great-grandfathers and anybody remotely in the vicinity of the candidates, has pushed me to a point where I am almost wishing that the election takes place over the weekend be spared the remaining weeks. However a recent story ...
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Where are you flying today

Posted on 22 October 2008

Where are you flying today
USA Today came up with this nice graphic on flight cutbacks by airlines in 2008 compared to the year before. It essentially is a radial chart with a lot of interactivity thrown in. I took a shot at doing this chart in Excel. I cut a lot of corners in the process (the defendant offers lack of data in his defence mylords :-)) but I think I came quite close to achieving some ...
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The God of a Religion called Cricket

Posted on 21 October 2008

The God of a Religion called Cricket
This week Sachin Tendulkar became the highest run getter in Test Cricket. There has never been another player of the game who has broken more records, won more fans and shown greater humility both on and off pitch than him. A true epitome of what sports is all about.....the spirit of playing hard and playing fair. (Image courtesy: www.extramirchi.com www.i224.photobucket.com)
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3 Nifty Ways to Send Email Using VBA in Excel

Posted on 21 October 2008

3 Nifty Ways to Send Email Using VBA in Excel
This article shows three methods using which you can send email using VBA in Excel. You can download a working example of sending email using vba in Excel here. Excel allows you to create the best-in-class charts, work with large amount of data and data sources work with images, flowcharts and what not. And if that was not enough, you can use the inbuilt vba editor to automate sending emails from ...
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Beats Me Every Time…..

Posted on 18 October 2008

Beats Me Every Time.....
....I don't know what specific pleasure women derive out of decorating their hands :-) ..... After the damage was done (financially speaking) while she was busy admiring the result of a few hours of effort....I was thinking to myself...with that kind of money I could've added a bit more RAM to my box, changed the air filter,........
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Hakone Go Kart Track Hiranandani Powai

Posted on 18 October 2008

Hakone Go Kart Track Hiranandani Powai
Location: Hiranandani Mumbai Best Approach: Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road How to locate: Just look out for the colored flags atop the hill. Address: Lake Meadows Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd. Level One, Haiko Mall, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai - 400 076 Telephone : +91 22 65172735/36 Fax : +91 22 25797852 Opens: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on all days (now till 9:30pm) Cost: Rs 140 for 4 laps, Rs 180 for 6 and Rs 250 for 10. Overall the Hakone ...
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Interesting heatmaps

Posted on 18 October 2008

Interesting heatmaps
Heatmaps allow us to visualize the change in a particular variable over a certain period of time or area. I found some neat heatmaps that were worth sharing. Person scanning a website (Courtesy: Tobii.com) Change in economic indicators under each President (Courtesy: NY Times) UV Levels across the globe on 18-OCT-2008 (Courtesy: Temis.nl)...
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VLOOKUP Function Error

Posted on 18 October 2008

VLOOKUP Function Error
You think you've entered the right formula and yet you get the dreaded #N/A error on the sheet.....well....here are some useful tips to get you through the vlookup blues! =vlookup(value_to_match, range_to_find_this_value, which_column_to_return , try_to_approximate_if_no_match) (Delimited) text being compared to numbers If you have imported data from a plain text file (a .txt file), your data may most likely have numbers which have been converted to string. Excel will still display the values ...
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